Kansas City Royals at Boston Red Sox
When: 7:10 PM ET, Monday, August 5, 2019
Where: Fenway Park, Boston
Preview for Digital Sports Desk by Gracenote
BOSTON – The Boston Red Sox look to end their all-out freefall when they begin a seven-game home stand against two fading teams with tonight’s opener of a three-game series against the Kansas City Royals. The Red Sox looked as though they were close to taking control of the American League wild-card race a week ago but have dropped eight in a row following Sunday’s 7-4 setback against the AL East-leading New York Yankees.
Christian Vazquez homered on Sunday and has gone 5-for-10 in his last three games for Boston, which has fallen 6 1/2 games out of the second wild-card spot while allowing an average of 7.3 runs during their losing streak. Rick Porcello hopes to wash away the memory of a rough start last time out when he takes the mound for the Red Sox in the series opener opposite Mike Montgomery, who will try to record his first victory with his new team.
The Royals won nine of their first 12 games after the All-Star break but have dropped nine of 10 since and lost for the sixth straight time on Sunday as they managed just two hits in a 3-0 setback at Minnesota. Alex Gordon went 5-for-12 with four runs while Cheslor Cuthbert was 4-for-12 with a pair of homers and four RBIs as Kansas City was outscored 23-8 while being swept by Boston at home in early June.
TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, FS Kansas City, NESN (Boston)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Royals LH Mike Montgomery (1-4, 6.34 ERA) vs. Red Sox RH Rick Porcello (9-8, 5.74)
Montgomery will have his fourth start since being acquired from the Chicago Cubs in a trade but has gone 0-2 while allowing 10 runs over 11 1/3 innings in three turns with the Royals. The 30-year-old Californian yielded four runs and seven hits over 4 1/3 frames in a loss to Toronto last time out after permitting one run in five innings of a no-decision against Cleveland on July 25. Montgomery owns an 11.49 ERA on the road this year and is 0-1 with a 12.27 mark versus Boston in his career.
Porcello saw his string of four starts with a victory come to an end Wednesday against Tampa Bay as he allowed six runs and nine hits over 5 2/3 innings. The 30-year-old native of New Jersey was the beneficiary of strong run support during his streak, winning all four turns despite giving up 19 runs and 34 hits (six homers) over 22 2/3 frames. Whit Merrifield is 4-for-7 with two doubles and Gordon has belted two homers against Porcello, who is 9-8 with a 4.66 ERA in 23 career starts versus the Royals.
- Merrifield saw his franchise-record streak of 135 games without going hitless in back-to-back contests come to end on Sunday.
- Boston SS Xander Bogaerts has gone 0-for-15 in his last four contests after capping a seven-game hitting streak by going 4-for-4 with two homers) against Tampa Bay on Thursday.
- Kansas City RF Jorge Soler has hit a team-high 29 homers in 112 games this year after totaling 11 in 96 contests over his previous two seasons with the club.